After a 3-0 start, the Miami Basketball RedHawks (5-4) have now dropped four of their last six games after Tuesday night’s 70-51 loss to the Southeastern Conference Missouri Tigers (7-2).
Missouri was plagued by turnovers — 17 total, nine in the first half — but Miami wasn’t able to capitalize as it shot just 32.3 percent from the field and 20.8 percent from three.
“The team that played the hardest didn’t win the game,” Missouri head coach Cuonzo Martin said. “We didn’t set a tone, it doesn’t matter who we play against.”
The Red and White fell victim to a 5-0 run to start the first half, in a game Miami never led. However, the ‘Hawks responded, tying the game at five on an and-one layup by freshman guard Jalen Adaway.
The Tigers started to pull away, pushing the score to 20-14, but Miami resiliently battled back. The RedHawks moved to within one, 20-19, after a layup by junior guard Darrian Ringo and an Adaway three-pointer. Missouri then went on a dominant 14-0 run en route to leading 36-24 at the half.
In the first, Miami was only able to hit 28.1 percent of its shots, compared to 54.2 percent by Missouri. The only thing that kept the game relatively close were the nine turnovers the ‘Hawks forced.
“I would say most of our turnovers were careless,” Missouri junior forward Kevin Puryear said. “I think we were rushing a little bit too much and that’s one thing we really gotta fine tune and eliminate. We shouldn’t really have any unforced turnovers if we want to take that next step as a team.”
The second half was all Tigers as the RedHawks weren’t able to keep up with the explosive Mizzou offense.
Miami freshman forward Dalonte Brown had a pair of buckets to open the half, but Missouri was soon able to extend its lead to 22. With 8:36 left, the Tigers were able to push its lead to a game-high 23 points at 60-37.
Adaway converted on a mid-range jumper to spark a RedHawks 11-0 run, making the score 60-48 with just over five and a half minutes to play. Miami then surrendered to an 8-0 Tigers run, that allowed Missouri to put the finishing touches on 70-51 victory.
The RedHawks finished with just six assists on 21 field goals, compared to Mizzou’s 17 assists on 25 field goals.
Ringo finished with a career-high 14 points, and had five of Miami’s six total assists. He was also tied for the team lead in rebounds (five), but struggled with six turnovers.
Other key RedHawk contributors were senior forward Logan McLane (three steals), Brown (five rebounds) and Adaway (13 points, five rebounds).
Missouri featured four scorers in double digits, including Puryear who had a game-high 20 points on 6-for-8 shooting.
The Tigers were without freshman forward and potential number one pick in the NBA draft Michael Porter Jr. Porter was injured in Missouri’s season-opener on Nov. 10, and is out for the season after back surgery.
This was the second ever contest between Miami and Missouri, with the Tigers’ 81-55 victory last season being the only other meeting.
Miami will look to host the Fort Wayne Mastodons (6-3) at 1 p.m. Saturday at Millett Hall. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.